Monthly Digest

Monthly Digest | July 2021

Hello and welcome to my monthly digest post where I talk about how the past month has gone in terms of reading, crafting, and random life events. This month was a really fun one. I did some reading I didn’t think I would get to and created quite a few things as well. I went on a few adventures, which was a great change of scenery since I have not really gone far from home over the last 15 months or so. Anyway, here is what happened over the past month!

Book stack of read books, current crochet project, and my D.I.Y. room spray.

Reading

  • Hauled The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil by Bill Sprouse
  • Hauled Tokyo Ueno Station by Miri Yu
  • Read Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
  • Read Later by Stephen King LOVED
  • Hauled The Field House by Robin Clifford Wood
  • Hauled The House of Lobster Cove by Jane Goodrich
  • Hauled Writing on Stone by Christina Marsden Gillis
  • Hauled A Haunting Fog by Heidi Martin Washburn
  • Hauled Wild! Weird! Wonderful Maine! by Earl D. Brechlin
  • Read Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker
  • Read How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald Robertson LOVED
  • Read The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Read Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle LOVED
  • Hauled and Read a story I cannot share, but know that it was great!

Total TBR Count: 35, Last Month: 33

Crochet & Crafting

Over this month I crocheted quite a bit, I made at least 4 market bags and gifted them to family members. I really need to make myself one in the future. Now that we can start using our own bags again I think it would be great to use for produce instead of the plastic bags. I did also made a ton of progress on the  Macchiato Crochet Poncho created by BrianaKdesigns. I am about 1/3 of the way done with it, but sadly I did not have the time to dedicate to it like I thought I would this month. I am planning on continuing this pattern in the upcoming month. Another crafting this I did this month was restore an antique picnic basket to use for my larger crochet projects because I have a few blankets I need to be making in the near future. I resealed it and even sewed a liner, a first for me! It even had button holes! As for the goal of making a room spray I ended up making the Mood-Boosting Blend room spray by Hello Glow. It included mixing up orange, lemon, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils with a little bit of vodka and filtered water. If you want to make some for yourself, I suggest checking out their post. I really loved how mine ended up smelling. I keep using it and I plan on making it again!

Life

Yard when staying with family.

This month was filled with a ton of really memorable things. As I mentioned in the start of this post, I went on a few adventures. The first being an almost 2 hour trip (one way) with a friend to a indie yarn store called Yarnia. I went a little over the top with picking up yarn because there were so many beautiful options I don’t see normally. Also, can I just say the name of this place is just perfect! A pun involving reading and yarn, not easily topped. I also decided while I was here I would attempt to maybe learn how to knit…it isn’t going so well. I am a crocheter and to be honest, I think it is going to be hard to break away from that.

Another thing I did was finally visit with family I have not seen in nearly 2 years. We got to spend a week together in the middle of the woods. It was so peaceful and calming. It was just great to spend quality time with them once again and also not have to deal with all of the people and congestion that goes on in my daily life. I ended up doing a lot of reading, relaxing, and just spending time outside. Spending time outside and in nature really is something I treasure because it also grounds me no matter what is going on in my life. I really wish I made it more of a priority because it makes such a difference. I will for sure need to work on that going forward.

I hope you had a wonderful July and have a few great memories to dwell upon in the future. I would love it if you shared something you tried or did over the past month. I also hope you have a wonderful month ahead!

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Let's Talk

Books I Took On Vacation and Did I finish Them?

Hello and welcome to a short post talking about the books I recently took with me when going out of state for the first time since everything went haywire in 2020. My household and I stayed in the middle of the woods, it was great to see different scenery and be in the middle of nature. Something I have not been able to do for a long time. Anyway, here is a list of the books I bought with me to read in the woods!

What I Took

Later by Stephen King

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella

What I Read

Later by Stephen King, finished, paperback, pictured

This is the first book I finished on vacation. I have a tradition of reading a King novel whenever I go away and this short one was perfect and did not disappoint. It was a great of traditional monsters in Kings writing. This book took it a bit further and sadly showed the monsters that humans can be as well. I read it within two days and I could not put it down once it really got going. I also really liked them POV that was used for this novel. I think it really lent itself to what King was going for.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami, finished, ebook, not pictured

I don’t want to say too much about this novel because I am going to do a whole separate post about it soon. I will say that I really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories and was great to bring with me when I went on a walk or just sat outside for a bit.

How to Think Like a Roman Emperor by Donald J. Robertson, started , paperback, pictured

As the heading says, I only started to read this book, but I will say I am really enjoying it. I decided that I wanted to take my time with this one and not rush too much because I think I could take a lot from this and I don’t want to miss out on anything. I am about 88 pages into it and looking forward to reading more soon.

What book has been your favorite vacation read?

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | Books I Want to Read in 2021

Hello and welcome to a list or challenge of sorts. I wanted to share some of the many, many books I want to read in 2021. I thought it would be fun at the end of the year to look back and see if I ended up reading this books or if I ended up liking them. I will be completely honest, there is a reread on this list of one of my favorite books so that one I know I will already love. Anyway, on to the books!


The Books


What books do you really want to read in 2021?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | First TBR of 2021

Hello and welcome to my January 2021 TBR. I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their year and I wish every single one of you a safe, healthy and fun 2021. This TBR is going to be quite a few books, but I currently feel up to the challenge.


The Books

TBR books stacked on a carpet in front of a basket and a plant.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, I had this on a TBR a few months ago, but sadly I ran out of hours in the month. I really want to read this horror for a few reasons. I am in the mood for some horror, I have read something else by this author and loved it and it just sounds amazing.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa – I am aiming to pick up my first book of reading a book off of my 2021 shortlist challenge, if you want to read more about that you can check that out here: Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021.

Flowers of Mold by Ha Seong-nan – I am picking this up because it is the oldest book on my TBR and I am still interested in it. This is a collection of short stories so I should be able to read it quickly and enjoy myself!

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, as started in my 2021 goals, which you can read in my post: Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals, I want to read two of her trilogies this year, so I wanted to get a start on that. Especially since I have so many people telling me I am going to enjoy it.

The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans, this was one of my book of the month picks last month so I wanted to try and get to it this month. I look forward to reading this collection of short stories that touch on larger issues in modern day society.

Not Quite Out pictured amongst my plants.

Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham, I am so lucky to say I am on a blog tour for this book in February so I am planning on reading this gifted book in January so I can write up my honest review.


What are you planning on reading this month?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my monthly TBR post. This month I am going to be keeping my TBR small and simple, especially since I now only have about 10 books on my owned TBR and my goal this month is to get it down to 5 books, I really hope I am able to do this! Anyway, here are the books I am planning on reading this month.



Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coats, I have been hearing about this book quite a lot over the last few months and I happened to come across this on discount at my local bookshop and I decided to pick it up. I will be honest, I don’t know too much about it, but I am quite excited to see what everyone has been talking about.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, this is a horror novel that was picked for me by the service TBR. I have read a short story by this author before and enjoyed it so I am looking forward to seeing if I will continue to enjoy his works.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, this book was picked for me to read by Maggie from Storme Reads a Lot for my Someone Picks my Books series I have here on my blog. I am really excited to take a deep dive into such a propionate ex-cold case.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I have not read this classic horror before, but I have watched so many adaptations and retellings that I feel like I could tell you what it is about. But, I decided for Halloween this year I am going to read this classic horror novel and put to the test how much of the story I actually know.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, I started reading this earlier in September, but my schedule got in the way of me reading this tome all the way through. I am about 50% through at the time of writing this so it should not take me too long to finish this tale.


What are you planning on reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | Spookathon/October 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Hello and welcome! This month I decided to put my readathon wrap up and my monthly wrap up together for a couple of reasons. The first being I didn’t want to post two wrap ups so close together and the second is that I don’t think I would have had enough in my posts on their own. But, either way I am going to fill you in on all of the reads I have read this month for general reading and readathon reading!


-Spookathon-

  1. Read a thriller– The Institute by Stephen King
  2. Read a book with red on the cover– Mapping the Interior, might I add this is a beautiful cover and an amazing story?
  3. Read a book with a spooky word in the title– Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other Stories
  4. Read a book with a spooky setting – The Institute by Stephen King
  5. Read something you wouldn’t normally read– Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, not halloween like at all so I wouldn’t normally read it this time of the year.

I might have used a few books to cover more than one prompt, but I did it! Not against the rules in my opinion!


Read 2
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell (Images of America: Pennsylvania)Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell by Robert W. Sands Jr.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my favorite nonfiction series of sorts and this one was no exception. Images used and their accompanying descriptions and stories added to a wonderfully framed narrative of both Independence Hall and the Library Bell.

View all my reviews


Mapping the InteriorMapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such an eerie atmospheric read, I can really see why it is compared to The Haunting of Hill House, but it is very much its own unique story as well. Even though this was such a sort story, I was attached to the main character very early on. Since this is so short I don’t want to say much, but if you enjoy horror I think you will really enjoy this.

View all my reviews


The InstituteThe Institute by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another wonderful King novel. It is different from his other works, but it is just as creepy. It did not take me too long to feel for the young main characters. The horrors that they saw and had to live through is just heart wrenching. There were quite a few times my heart sunk when I thought something bad was going to happen or if I thought something wasn’t going to work out.

I don’t want to say to much because I feel like this novel is best read when you don’t know too much. It is well written and the plot is a roller coaster and unique. I also felt true emotion while reading this.

View all my reviews


Moby-Dick: or, The WhaleMoby-Dick: or, The Whale by Herman Melville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very dense book, it was not 100% what I expected. I felt like it was going to be more of a tall tale, but it ended up being so much more explanatory of the progress of whaling. At times I just wanted it to get to the action, if that makes sense.

Other than this I can see why this book is a classic, it is an interesting tale, but keep in mind it is a product of its time.

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Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other StoriesStrange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really love the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde so I was really excited to read some more by this author. I was really happy with my reread, I enjoyed the story as much as I have in the past. The other short stories varied, but overall I enjoyed them as well. If you enjoy Jekyll and Hyde, I think you will enjoy the rest of these stories.

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 33

Backlist TBR: 0

I FINALLY FINISHED ALL OF THE BOOK I BOUGHT BEFORE 2019 STARTED!


Did you have any 5 star read this month?

Were you surprised by anything you read?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | October 2019

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in! I am so excited to share some of these books with you. I have read a few five star reads, which is all I can ask for while reading!

I  will say that this month I do have one book I technically read in September, but I finished it on the last day of the month and it did not make into my wrap up.


Read 2
The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script BookThe Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was so nice to read this script. I am a huge fan of the original novel by Gaiman and Pratchett and I have to say that Gaiman did a wonderful job with this adaptation along with all the cast a crew involved. It was such fun visiting this story for third time this year.

If you enjoy reading scripts and enjoy this story, I suggest you give this a go as well.

View all my reviews


In the Tall GrassIn the Tall Grass by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very imaginative, gruesome novella. It was so vivid in my mind while I read it and I can see the influence of both Stephen King and Joe Hill. It is very dark and twisted and if gore doesn’t bother you, I suggest this quick read.

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The OverstoryThe Overstory by Richard Powers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read for sure, I can see why it has won awards and shortlisted for others. The idea is very thought provoking, involving individuals who have a very strong with nature and more specifically the trees. At first all these stories seem unconnected, more like a short story collection, then slowly they start to come together as the need to protect the forest grows larger.

I have to say, I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the second half. The first half has so much of a personal connection with nature and trees and it was great learning about all of these families and individuals. For me it started to get less interesting when things got mushed together. I am not sure if it is because it seemed to be more “preachy” or the individual stories that drew me in kinda for the most part fell to the side and were only a plot device instead of the story. It seemed to loose the magic and the soul of the story.

With that aside the writing was done very well, I am curious to get into other works of this author.

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The Tea Dragon FestivalThe Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was once again another wonderful graphic novel by Katie O’Neill. I love the artwork, but the story is beautiful as well. I always want more after reading her works, this is no exception. I really loved the fact that sign language was used in this book, how everyone was so different, but everyone cared so much.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)I am about 45% through this book, I am enjoying it so far and I am curious how it is going to progress and end. I have to say I really loved this nighttime edition from Barns and Nobel. It makes it seem much more dark especially since one of the main characters is a vampire.

The Institute

I am exactly 50% though this book and I am loving it so much. I am really excited and worried about what it to come because I stopped reading at such a cliff hanger part. Also, I really love this edition and I am learning more and more of what is represented on the cover.

Mapping the Interior

I am about 32% through this short story. It is a very eerie story so far and I am LOVING the atmosphere so much. I am also really enjoying the story being written by a Native American and having those ties within it. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this author is going to finish this book and honestly, I hope this author has more works because I want to read them.


What has been your favorite read so far this month?

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